I never completed my first marathon, I passed out in the 24th mile sending me to the emergency room. So, when I decided to give it another go, I had to face the reality that I may never be able to complete a marathon. The pressure was difficult and when I pulled a muscle halfway through my second one, I had to face the decision, “Do I pull out or do I risk a greater injury?” I was basically living in the tension. A decision that I didn’t want to face had to be made.
If you are going to be successful in ministry, you are going to need to live in the tension, because it’s:
Where We Go Deep
As a youth minister it’s always going to be difficult for me to talk to students about situations like loving the sinner, but hating the sin and confronting someone about immoral behavior. Both of these actions are difficult for me to do and if I told you otherwise I would be lying.
Following Christ gets personal, there is a lot of emotion involved and the pull between what I feel and what is right can be torture. But, if you aren’t living in the tension then you are hiding from the issues, it’s like saying, “I don’t want to deal with this because it’s too hard.” No one ever said ministry would be easy.
To live in the tension we need to:
- Rely on God’s Grace – Follow His plan
- Look at the Source – Ask yourself why are my feeling conflicting with my thoughts
- Pray and Seek Wisdom – Get insight, digest God’s word and equip yourself.
- Know There Is A Tomorrow – Once you act in the tension know that you are moving forward. Bad decision or not you’ll move forward.
While we want to constantly make God honoring decisions, we must make sure we never remain idle. Being idle is an excuse for not confronting sin and not moving forward. So go ahead live in it, lean in.
Share your thoughts. What are your thoughts about living in the tension?